Buying guns: Cash or Credit


April 14, 2009, 09:35 AM
Let me start by saying, I'm not trying to pick on anyone specific.

I see quite a few threads around here talking about finding guns in pawn shops and putting them on lawaway. So far, the threads I've noticed are generally speaking about $200-$300 guns. My thought is this:
Unless you have the cash, do you really need to be buying guns?

I'm sure there are exceptions, such as buying a first gun for self defense on limited means, but IMNSHO, this buying of toys regardless of means is what put this country into the mess it is (according to the media) in. The question I put to THR is:

If you find a good deal on a gun, but can't afford it, do you still buy it?
Am I the only one who considers guns #2 and up as luxuries that should be bought with cash?

It occurs to me that if you can't swing $200 cash for a used gun, you have other, more important priorities for that money. I agree that in this country we should be free to spend our hard earned money however we see fit, I'm just wanting some thoughts on this.

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April 14, 2009, 09:43 AM
I'm just wanting some thoughts on this
My thought is that, with all due respect, how I manage my finances is none of your business. :)

April 14, 2009, 09:53 AM
Quote from rbernie
"My thought is that, with all due respect, how I manage my finances is none of your business."
I thought the same thing but didn't want to say it.

April 14, 2009, 10:05 AM
only cash for me. in the words of my father, "if i've got it, i'll spend it!"

April 14, 2009, 10:22 AM
priorities first, but sometimes buying a gun before it goes bye bye due to a looming AWB, becomes a priority.

April 14, 2009, 10:28 AM
CASH Agree on spending it...around 4 guns a month for the last 2 years...just keep finding more.

April 14, 2009, 11:24 AM
"Unless you have the cash, do you really need to be buying guns?"

The way I was raised I don't need to be buying anything I can't afford to pay for.

To answer the question, I write checks.

The stores trust me (and the car dealers fwiw), but I still get delayed by the State Police "instant check" system about half the time. I passed the original check for a carry permit and later on the renewal, so I doubt there's a problem on my end. Grrr.

Can you tell I'm irritated about not having the gun I bought and paid for out of town last Friday.

Yes, I understand the State Police have cut back on staff and/or overtime and that purchases are up. I. Don't. Care. :)


April 14, 2009, 11:26 AM
I use my Debit card, which as we know is the same as cash. I have never used layaway on anything, just never had the need, if I cant afford it I don't need it.

Corporal K
April 14, 2009, 11:30 AM
And why are we in an economic crisis....

April 14, 2009, 11:31 AM
I actually prefer lay-away, at least with my FFL. He does not charge interest and lets me pay it off when I can. This is sometimes the only option for those who are unable to run around with hundreds if not thousands of dollars in their pocket. Credit however.......not an option for me, But hey, if you can pay it off and stay out of trouble then too each their own.

April 14, 2009, 11:31 AM
Cash on the barrelhead, always; I'll pass up a good deal if I don't have the money.
This should apply to more than just guns. Aside from your home (and maybe a car) you shouldn't buy anything you can't afford to pay cash for. Period.

(now lay-a-way isn't really using credit, its more of a targeted savings account)

April 14, 2009, 11:38 AM
None of the poll choices are a fit for me.

I have often purchased firearms with a Visa or Amex ... but I always pay them down to zero each month, so ...

April 14, 2009, 11:42 AM
Depends on the gun, if the guns over $1000, I tend to use layaway, if its under, I'll tend to just save the cash. The shop I go to I've bought so many things through that they don't care how long I take as long as it's reasonable, and I always put down at least 50%, so it lets me get the guns I want, while still taking care of the neccesities and bills, and putting weekly extra cash towards the gun.

Main reason is I just want to make sure I get the gun, but just cant afford it outright at that moment.

April 14, 2009, 11:42 AM
I use lay-away to space out my gun purchases. It reduces my impulse purchases, giving me more time to research my next addition. It's definitely not a question of not having the money. It's more a matter of having too much enthusiasm for collecting!

When the itch hits, I tell myself, "No, not until I pay off the one on lay-away."

That usually works.

April 14, 2009, 11:46 AM
but IMNSHO, this buying of toys regardless of means is what put this country into the mess it is (according to the media) in.

Actually, consumer spending is a major factor in the U.S. economy. Our country was doing just fine when there was such enormous spending going on. Buying toys regardless of means is what will probably get this country out of the mess that it is in right now. The question is when this will happen - once people get themselves out of the debt they're in, or when they get better jobs/jobs back again.

The media is showing how savings are now taking precendence over spending in the American consumer - savings being either literally adding money to savings accounts, or paying down debt. Whether this is a turning point in American consumer mentality, or a temporary reaction to our extravagant spending (or loss of jobs) has yet to be seen.

I think there are several great reasons why someone would buy a weapon on credit, or other items on credit, all of which are up to the particular consumer making the purchase.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with responsible use of credit as far as I'm concerned. It drives the US economy and has for quite some time. If someone can't afford to buy something and pay for it in full right now, but has the credit to buy it and pay it off, that is their decision to make.

I find passing judgement on others' financial situation without the entire story to be rather presumptuous and distasteful.

April 14, 2009, 11:47 AM
I've only ever bought them cash, but I'm thinking about putting an STI on layway.

April 14, 2009, 11:50 AM
I have often purchased firearms with a Visa or Amex ... but I always pay them down to zero each month, so ...
I'd call that paying cash (since you're really just using the card in leu of cash but not running a balance).

April 14, 2009, 11:55 AM
My thought is that, with all due respect, how I manage my finances is none of your business.
My thoughts as well.
I always "have the cash", but I often choose to put used guns on layaway when I run across something I've been looking for...what's the issue?
I'm usually in no big hurry to have it in my hands, I'm not robbing Peter to pay Paul, my bills are paid, my credit rating is quite good, my family doesn't get seconded, we're all just fine thank you very much.
Now I have to go out and bury some gold ingots in the back-forty for after the apocalypse. ;)

April 14, 2009, 12:02 PM
If you don't have the cash, you don't have the money to buy the gun, IMO. I only start looking when I've saved up enough to buy what I want. If I don't have it in-hand, I don't get it ... simple as that.

April 14, 2009, 12:03 PM
One and two both work for me as there are times I don't carry much cash.

With that said rbernie I sure got a chuckle out of your response.

April 14, 2009, 12:09 PM
Option 5 doesn't quite describe my process because I don't let credit card purchases remain unpaid.

I buy with plastic; pay it off before the due date as I don't tolerate debt. I'm able to avoid interest and service fees, and I accumulate reward points this way. I use the accumulated reward points to acquire two $100 gift cards to Cabela's. One for my wife and one for me.

I use my free $100 gift card to buy reloading components. I hope they don't have an empty isle when I show up with my gift card this year.

edit: Instances where 3% is added to the price when a card is used... I use cash.

chris in va
April 14, 2009, 12:09 PM
I've always just paid cash for my guns, but the only time I used layaway was on my Kahr K9 I bought recently.

I sold my Ruger SP to help finance it, but needed another $200. As the K9's are fairly desireable, I didn't want someone to snap it up before I could get my paycheck so put it away for two weeks.

Carne Frio
April 14, 2009, 12:13 PM
Didn't vote. None of the above work. I always use plastic and pay off right away. I try to buy everything that way due to a cash back deal that the cc company has going.

April 14, 2009, 12:15 PM
Cash Always.

Stupid dealer wanted to charge me something like 3 - 6 % more just to pay with a debit card! So I went to the ATM and just paid the 1.75 to get my money out.

April 14, 2009, 12:21 PM
5 of my guns came from student loans. And I'm proud to say it.

m1a loaded
RRA midlength AR
m1 garand
glock 19
yugo sks

April 14, 2009, 12:27 PM
Some interesting points being made; a few I hadn't thought of. Theotherwaldo's comment about using layaway to space out his purchases is kinda ingenious. I overspent my gun budget this winter because I bought a couple guns within one month without updating my budget between them. Now I can't buy anything again until July:(. It's too bad, too because there's a Citori I want REAL bad. I don't think my dealer does layaway, though...

I would argue that paying with credit and paying the whole bill at the end of the month is the same as paying cash. I even buy my $4 meal at McDonalds on credit so I can get the % back. I actually go to the bank and get bills to take to the gun dealer (or write a check) so he doesn't have to pay the 3-5% the CC company takes off the top.

I understand people not wanting to talk about finances, but honestly, is it that big a deal when we're all hiding behind usernames on the internet? Simply saying "I don't want to talk about it" doesn't do anything to further the discussion, either.

April 14, 2009, 12:28 PM
Credit card for every purchase possible...that means no fee for using a CC. Pay off every month and get 1% back which is usually about $250-300 a year. I don't know why more people don't do it. It's FREE money. That's right...completely FREE. Just pay it in full every month. You borrow that money for free every month and then get 1% back on top of that. No brainer IMO.

April 14, 2009, 12:31 PM
CRDNLPLT nailed it.

All our groceries, purchases, many of our bills, etc.
Anything we buy or bills we pay, if they take plastic, we use it and pay it off upon receipt of the statement. We even talked the car dealer into putting $2,000 of our SUV on the credit card, just for the reward points.:D They refused to charge more than $2,000, so we wrote a check for the remainder.

April 14, 2009, 12:32 PM
No brainer IMO.
They're waiting for you to slip up, CRDN. I did it about two months ago, first time in about three years, cost me around $60. Also, most people don't keep a careful budget and are incapable of controlling their spending if they don't actually see the money go out. I suspect however, that the average on THR is far above the average American.

April 14, 2009, 12:37 PM
I've never bought a gun with anything except cash (money order if buying online). But I also don't pass up deals! So if I saw a excellent condition Python or Diamondback for $400 or so and I didn't the cash, you can bet I'll put it on plastic. It's never happened, but I'd rather have the option of using the plastic so that a great deal didn't slip away. Deals are getting harder and harder to come by these days.

April 14, 2009, 12:46 PM
Last month was the first time in almost a decade that I didn't completely pay off my credit card balance.

Smack my hand with a ruler!

Of course, I'll pay it off this month.

Hey, it's not often that I buy my sister a car on my card!

(Early birthday present. She was getting tired of the old Buick. Too bad she didn't tell me that she wanted another Buick. Just a newer model. So I now have a Chevy Tracker 4x4, she still has her old Buick. My card's gonna get another workout... .)

April 14, 2009, 12:47 PM
Cash only. I generally save up my spending cash in a savings account timed to coincide with gun show dates.

April 14, 2009, 01:06 PM
Where does American Express fit in? It is always paid off within 30 days and I get 1% back towards a Home Depot card (my usual choice, anyway).

It adds one more way to trace the gun, but I live in Illinois so the transaction is being recorded at some level anyway.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
April 14, 2009, 01:29 PM
Layaway is NOT an extension of credit, so misleading thread title vis a vis the poll question.

Use credit for a gun? Never, no way; insanely stupid. Unless it's your first gun and some a-hole is stalking you (or you live in the hood), and you're flat broke or some such.

Flame Red
April 14, 2009, 03:02 PM
Cash is king as I have yet to have a private party take plastic. Only storefront I buy from is from Bud's and they want cash (money order or check) to receive the discounted price.

Carl N. Brown
April 14, 2009, 03:10 PM
A used gun I paid 150.00 for, I was offered three times that by a buyer who wanted it. I could cite others, but a properly maintained used gun almost always sells for more than its original price. Its more like an investment. I just wish I had bought a M1917 Eddystone Enfield when they were $29.95.

Carl N. Brown
April 14, 2009, 03:14 PM
Sorry, I was responding above to apoint someone else had made. I voted cash on the barrelhead; back in the 1970s and 1980s I did do several layaway purchases (10% or 30% down and installments sometimes stretched out a few weeks or occasionally a year).

April 14, 2009, 03:18 PM
Use credit for a gun? Never, no way; insanely stupid.Why?

Hungry Seagull
April 14, 2009, 03:24 PM
Cold Hard Cash on the spot.

Cash. And bought.

All done.

There are those who pay cash and the Vendor or Bank smiles.

There are those who owe money and smile at the vendor or bank.

Recently a credit card company contacted us (We have zero balance for years) and threatened to close account. We told them close it and shredded the cards that night.

We provide our own secured credit cards now. And should the banking system fail? No problem we can go on for a time with out it.

VISA is very useful for car rentals, online purchasing, things like that. But the bank I hae that card at has nothing to do with any other banks that might be into our actual finances which are very little.

In fact, Im half expecting our bank to start complaining because they are beginning to pay more in interest to us than they are in fees from us.

April 14, 2009, 03:28 PM
If I don't have the money on hand, I don't buy it. Not necessarily cash only, but if I don't have the physical funds to support a purchase on my credit card, I don't buy it.

Sav .250
April 14, 2009, 03:28 PM
Priorties are what you make them.

Tennessee Ned
April 14, 2009, 03:29 PM
All of mine have been layaway or cash but I have seriously considered credit a couple of times. I bought one online once and did have to do a credit card to secure the shipping and then when I picked it up I paid cash for the remaining balance.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
April 14, 2009, 03:31 PM
Use credit for a gun? Never, no way; insanely stupid.


Well, I should say, insanely stupid UNLESS you have either (a) 0.00% credit line, or (b) you pay your credit card off every month and therefore incur no interest.

It's insanely stupid otherwise because using unsecured credit is a horribly horribly bad idea unless it's a dire emergency, such as fridge goes out or need to pay a traffic ticket to avoid jail. It's a horribly bad idea because it's throwing money out the window and down the toilet (interest) for no good reason. Having another gun is not a dire emergency. Again, unless, as I said, it's your first one and you need it to defend yourself on an urgent basis.

Using secured credit is not much better on non-vehicle consumer goods like that - in fact, it's worse when you get charged the same interest rate as unsecured debt typically (15-22% - American General, Wells Fargo, & similar), and yet they have a security interest in the item to boot, so you've not even effectively shifted the risk of insolvency/BK away from yourself and onto the creditor!

April 14, 2009, 03:36 PM
Just run up your card, it's all good. :o

If your not be able to pay.
The gov. can bail you out. :D

Hungry Seagull
April 14, 2009, 03:43 PM

That is just stupid.

Let's say I go to money mountain and buy a 1000 dollar gun with a new credit card.

16% interest on that 1000 is alot of money on a 8 day billing cycle. How fast does it take to get the first payment by US MAIL to the CC Company until your Autodraft kicks in?

While you are getting that sorted they go ahead and raise you to 30% interest or worse cut the availible credit line on you without you knowing it.

2010 will be the end of unregulated credit cards in SD and in DEL. But the rats that are getting fat while the getting is still good before the titanic breaks in half.

That thousand dollar gun on credit is going to be VERY expensive when the smoke clears.

April 14, 2009, 03:55 PM
I think runrabbitrun was joking.

Hungry Seagull
April 14, 2009, 03:58 PM
I believe so too. But I put that on there because MY wife did that once over the holiday season... she activated a store card to get a 15% discount at the register on top of the store sale and thought she did good.

I show up at the store the next morning, with the wife paid the card off, closed the account and learned that the interest was to be 24%

They were very difficult in revealing the terms and interest of the acccount.

So much for the 15% off discount.

That would be the last time we ever do that in our life time. Until our USA's Retail system understands this basic shift which is pernament they will continue to draw in suckers who dont have the cash in the first place to keep the whole merry go round going.

What a waste.

Cash is king.

April 14, 2009, 03:59 PM
Where's the option of buying on credit but paying my balance off each month?

April 14, 2009, 04:04 PM
Yes. I was joking :uhoh:

Cash is king ;)

April 14, 2009, 04:08 PM
Not only do I not buy guns on credit, I don't buy cars or education on credit either. While it may be unavoidable for most of us to pay cash for a home, we are certainly able to get a head on the interest and pay them off much sooner than the bank wants us too, thereby paying perhaps 1-1/2 to 2 times the value of the home, rather than the three times you will pay if you actually let a 30-year mortgage go the full distance. (If you don't believe me, look at the truth in lending statement included with your mortgage paperwork.)

There is a culture and industry in America and worldwide, spending vast resources trying to convince us that we must have everything now, that if you only spend the money that you have you are a fool, and it's ok to give banks interest, which if you invested it would be worth millions over the time you will be working.

So now there is a PERCEIVED sense of urgency to buy before a possible ban, and that it's ok to go into debt for it. One must understand, it certainly would have been better to be prepared no matter who is president, rather than let a crisis which wasn't a surprise at all put you into a position where you are paying interest on something you should have already bought.

Rant finished.

Hungry Seagull
April 14, 2009, 04:10 PM
Ive got one car that I intend to pay off years ahead of schedule this summer.

Ive already crunched the numbers.

I can pay that vehicle off this summer and save... 4 years worth of payments. The money that they apply to interest before principle is about 4000 dollars total interest income.

I will be paying off this vehicle and putting the monthly money into a seperate account so that when this vehicle burns up I will walk into the dealer years from now cash in hand out the door with a replacement.

I had a engine burn up in a otherwise very good car. To this day I wonder if I should have spent only 3 thousand total and rebuilt this engine instead of replacing THAT car with this one that Im trying to get debt free.

The banker that holds the title is about to lose thousands in income from me and have to give me a paid off title.

If many others did the same, that banker will be out of the lending business.

April 14, 2009, 04:10 PM
Well, I should say, insanely stupid UNLESS you have either (a) 0.00% credit line, or (b) you pay your credit card off every month and therefore incur no interest.
I disagree.

For example, I guarantee that a Sig 556 rifle bought in October on credit at 14% annual interest has accrued more equity than it has cost in interest served.

There are also probably times when buying on credit makes sense, such as when presented with a significant bargain or unique and coveted item, in a deal that likely cannot be duplicated later. Opportunity cost, and all that, ya know?

Blanket statements are always bad.


April 14, 2009, 04:14 PM
Well I made a firearm purchase with my stimulus check.

Thanks Uncle Sam... We don't say that enough. :D

April 14, 2009, 04:17 PM
Buying on credit NEVER EVER makes more sense than saving in advance the same amount you would have in a credit line to have available for special situations.

Two ounces of discipline.

April 14, 2009, 04:20 PM
Since I have no cards--its cash only.

Speculation: If one were to pick up some things on credit before the coming collapse---they will be free since not much as we know it now will really matter any more----just sayin.

April 14, 2009, 04:21 PM
If I can't afford it, I don't buy it--that applies to everything, unless my car is broken down on the side of the road, and I need to charge to get it running in order to get somewhere (hasn't happened yet), or something of similarly pressing and urgent natures. That's why I keep a credit card around--not to routinely buy things I don't have the money for, but so that if everything is going wrong, I'm not completely SOL insofar as money goes.

To each their own, however.

April 14, 2009, 04:23 PM
You left out

I usually buy on credit and pay it off immediately

I'm trying to build points on my cc. I get 1% back in cash :D.

Hungry Seagull
April 14, 2009, 04:25 PM
Obamabeenglocking, in the time of the 1930's the creditors who had outstanding loans failed to see regular minimum payments from thier debtors in sufficient numbers to support the economy.

So the Creditors started saying that the entire debt outstanding is now due and payable today in full.

That really drove the debtors into hell. And still the Creditors were not saved by this tatic, they too find themselves jumping off tall buildings.

That was 70 years ago.

I fear the day that credit card companies in the near future exercising thier final right to tell all thier debtors who still hold balances to pay thier owed money all in full by the end of the month.

That will be a black day for the USA. Maybe Im paranoid and have lost touch with reality, but just when I thought that all the basic values we have been taught as children that stood untouchable and sacred are all torn up and tossed out the window BY our children who somehow passed college and now are our leaders.


April 14, 2009, 04:30 PM
I use my credit card for everything I possibly can, including guns. I have as many bills as possible paid directly by my credit card each month (phone, cable, electric etc). I'd pay my mortgage by credit card if they'd let me lol. I pay in full every month. I have the advantage of fewer bills to juggle monthly, and I get lots of "points." If a seller (of anything) charges a premium for using credit, I pay cash or write a check.

My credit card bill is paid automatically every month - my credit card provider directly debits my checking account for the total balance so I can't "forget" or "pay late" (i just have to keep track of my balance).

The trick to paying down your credit card in full each month is simple: don't use the credit card for anything you don't already have the cash for.

April 14, 2009, 04:34 PM
They're waiting for you to slip up, CRDN. I did it about two months ago, first time in about three years, cost me around $60.

My credit card has been attached to my bank account since I was about 15 years old (granted, I think I had a $100 limit back then). You may want to look into doing the same thing. I just look at the bill and make sure there is nothing fishy, and the full balance gets paid automatically.

15 years, no slip ups. Lots of free flights.

SNL has a great debt management program:

Straight Shooter
April 14, 2009, 04:34 PM
I prefer to use my CC like cash (always pay it off in full each month) to get the rewards points.

But with the gun shop I like its cash or check. He gives a 5% discount to NRA members and 5% discount for military or ex-military but if you use a CC he takes one of the discounts away.

He has good prices to begin with and he knocks of 10% to boot. Gotta love it! :D

Hungry Seagull
April 14, 2009, 04:35 PM
KarenTOC is a very good way of using credit cards and working the system to avoid late fees and who knows how many other fees.

We use autodraft to have all of our bills paid on time. We have watched each and all of the normal billing for the home dates... move from the 20th of the month... to the 12th and eventually all are settled right after midnight on the 1st and the three days after of the month.

We were forced to inflate that bank account several months ahead of time to ensure that none of the autodrafts bounce after midnight on the first day of the new month.

We are afraid that they will try to go ahead and speed up the autodrafts from "Next month" on the 1st day into this month at the last week.

April 14, 2009, 04:36 PM
Speculation: If one were to pick up some things on credit before the coming collapse---they will be free since not much as we know it now will really matter any more----just sayin.

Yep just saying :D

April 14, 2009, 04:40 PM
Instances where 3% is added to the price when a card is used... I use cash.

I use my debit card as I dont carry cash. If someone is going to charge me 3% to use my card then I dont shop there.

April 14, 2009, 04:42 PM
No paper trail.

I use cash although I can pay-off a cc charge. I just don't want another document with my name and gun purchase on it. Less paper trails, less visible footprint.

April 14, 2009, 04:42 PM
This has nothing to do with guns.

Do you buy anything on credit?

Do you finance a car? Or do you rent it? (Lease)

Do you finance a home? Or do you rent it?

Do you wear boxers or briefs?

Do you brush your teeth every night? And every morning?

This thread was over with the 2nd post.

April 14, 2009, 04:42 PM
Speaking of buying guns on credit.
I keep one card for emergency's.
It carries a balance, but it's manageable.

If Capitol One says:
'What's in your wallet? We are raising your rates and lowering your limit'...
(as is what is going on right now with some cc companies)

I'd say:
'Nothing for you Cap One...
If you have the right to amend the deal at any time, so do I.' :neener:

Hungry Seagull
April 14, 2009, 04:42 PM
Debit is not good for house either. The first time we used debit at a gas pump they locked up 75 dollars of our bank money account waiting for 20 dollars of gas to clear.

We make sure they do credit with something for me to sign from that point on. They hate it because it slows em down and makes the 10 people behind me wait a moment.

April 14, 2009, 04:43 PM
Those of you who use cards to get the points and rewards might be doing it right. BUT:

If EVERYONE paid off their cards every month, collected rewards and never paid any interest, the banks would collapse. They operate on the knowledge that most customers START using cards with that intent, but wind up carrying a balance. They TOLERATE people like you who they don't make any money off of to sucker in the much larger percentage who will go into debt. The rewards and miles don't come from nowhere. Again, I would rather save 10K to use for such purchases than accept a credit card with a 10k limit.

Hungry Seagull
April 14, 2009, 04:45 PM
CWL, there is a vault with sufficient cash for us to fall off the paper trail for a long time.

The problem with that, is the dollar. Suppose a loaf of bread jumped from 2 bucks to about 20 dollars and kept rising?

The afternoon after 9-11 we awoke to 5.50 desiel where we had just fueled that morning for about 1.70 and change. Fortunately the pricing fell a bit afterwards.

April 14, 2009, 04:51 PM
only cash for me. in the words of my father, "if i've got it, i'll spend it!"

Cash only for me too. In the words of my Grandfather: "If I don't have the cash, I don't need it that bad." :D


April 14, 2009, 04:52 PM
If EVERYONE paid off their cards every month, collected rewards and never paid any interest, the banks would collapse. They operate on the knowledge that most customers START using cards with that intent, but wind up carrying a balance. They TOLERATE people like you who they don't make any money off of to sucker in the much larger percentage who will go into debt. The rewards and miles don't come from nowhere. Again, I would rather save 10K to use for such purchases than accept a credit card with a 10k limit.

I agree with you to an extent, but remember, they also get 3-5% of every charge. That's why my dealer is much friendlier if you always bring cash, even though he will take credit. In reality, if no one used credit cards, everything would be 5% cheaper, but rather than lose the sale, most retailers just mark everything up 5%. The bank can afford to give me back my 2% and still make money even if I don't carry a balance or miss a payment.

The moral is, don't be angry if your FFL doesn't take credit; he's doing you a favor and keeping prices down.

April 14, 2009, 04:54 PM

Hungry Seagull
April 14, 2009, 04:59 PM
Some shops actually get angry with me for breaking out the VISA. So I pay them cash and save them the percentage that they would have to pay VISA.

It's all good.

In fact, Im beginning to go all cash only because Ive learned that my bank likes to stack several VISA autocharges to the account with the largest amount first hoping to get all the others to bounce.

Since I stopped using VISA unless necessary the Bank has no choice but to process teh autodrafts on time in a timely manner for free. LOL.

We used to accumulate much rewards until one day about two years ago just about all of our credit card companies told us the same month that they are ternimating the rewards.

When the interest started to climb and the billing cycles shorten we began to see that there is trouble on board teh USS Creditfantasy.

April 14, 2009, 05:00 PM
If EVERYONE paid off their cards every month, collected rewards and never paid any interest, the banks would collapse.

I doubt that. At the very least, they get 3% from the merchant for every transaction made on credit. I understand from one merchant that the fee for offering "under-$25-no-signature-required" credit card transactions is even higher. And banks do other things than provide credit cards. Savings accounts, home mortgages, small business and personal loans etc.

What excessive credit card use probably HAS done is raise the price of EVERYTHING about 3% to cover merchant fees. I would HAPPILY shred my credit card if prices would universally drop 3%.

I remember years ago banks threatened to charge service fees to customers who paid their balances in full every month. It didn't happen.

April 14, 2009, 05:07 PM
Many of us merchants pay out the
nose to accept credit cards.
It's US merchants that are paying for the teaser
gimmick points they give card holders.

It's true we would all rather have cash.
(at least I would)
It's cheaper on us, so we can pass on the savings.

Unfortunately for now.
I'm full internet based biz, so cc acceptance is a must.

Hungry Seagull
April 14, 2009, 05:13 PM
KarenTOC I remember the telephone threats.

We laughed it off and told em to charge it anydam way. We didnt care as long the ultimate goal of ZERO balance was met. There were some very angry customer service people who were backed into a corner and actually physically processed teh dang payments to make a zero balance and close the account. And to rub salt into wound, we made sure they send us letter acknowledging this action or event.

They get upset now a-days whenever we call them to null the fancy radio-swipe visas and re-issue to us the old style magnetic swipe cards.

Standing up for ourselves in face of credit tryanny felt so good.

April 14, 2009, 05:14 PM
I can't see that I would ever put anything on layaway myself, but for guns, at least some guns, it can make sense. The gun market isn't such that you can count on the gun you want being the store the day you get the money together. Layaway is a way of reserving a gun so it's not sold out from under you.

For a really common model, and if you don't care about the details of finish or grips, you can save some money with discipline in saving, but for anything even a little bit uncommon, layaway can make sense.

Hungry Seagull
April 14, 2009, 05:16 PM
We do a little Layaway. What we do is grab a item, put some money on it on a three month layaway... to ensure that our name is on that item.

Pay it off the following paycheck that comes in. That way we dont miss an oppertunity to grab a good item that another will get after we left.

The Marine Mag were examined closely by about 8 buyers that night. I was the first to put the gun on the counter and start a layaway. The other 9 people had to either special order it or wait.

As it happened My gun was shipped direct from New York's Remington Factory to my shop.

I wonder what happened to that one 870 that I picked up off the rack and placed onto the counter. Sometimes I think that particular gun is some kind of floor display model.

Does that make sense?

Dark Skies
April 14, 2009, 05:21 PM
I buy most expensive purchases using a credit card - even though I have the cash. Then I settle up at the end of the month. The reason I do this is because when you buy with a credit card it's, obviously, a credit agreement which further affords the goods a guarantee. If the deal goes bad or the goods aren't up to scratch the credit company will weigh in on my behalf because the goods are technically theirs until I've settled. Particularly worth doing if the gun is secondhand and doesn't come with a factory warranty.

April 14, 2009, 05:27 PM
I already have an arsenal and don't feel the need to take out a loan for more steel. To have more guns for me at this stage in the game would be a luxury, not a necessity. I think luxury items should be purchased with money only when you have it in excess. Although I will put it on my Amex to get the points, but that gets paid off every month - to me it's the same as cash.

Might be different if you don't have any guns yet and want to build your credit by getting your first shotgun.


April 14, 2009, 05:37 PM
I have no idea what point you are trying to make.

I use cc's all the time because I travel internationally about 1/3rd of my time. (traveled exactly 30 days in Q1-09)

I just don't buy firearms with credit cards to decrease any paper trail.

Hungry Seagull
April 14, 2009, 05:41 PM
CWL, Sorry for the confusion.

Cash is king. Liquidty even more so.

April 14, 2009, 05:48 PM
In the words of Lazarus Long, "Budget luxuries first."

(You know you're gonna buy it, so budget for it.)

April 14, 2009, 08:30 PM
But Karen, remember that the bulk of the profit of the entire industry hinges on people carrying a balance and paying interest on it. Without that, there wouldn't be enough money for any of the banks or labels to operate. The percentage of customers that NEVER wind up paying any interest or fees is just about zero. The intent of the entire industry is to make you pay interest for things you can't afford RIGHT NOW. The user fees aren't keeping Citi or anyone else in business. Visa doesn't care if you use a credit card or a debit card, it's all the same to them.

Layaway isn't terrible as long as you aren't paying any higher fees or interest for it I suppose. To that effect, I would trust smaller stores and pawn shops, that don't have layaway policies set at the 'corporate level', which will inevitably involve a department asking how the company can make a little more money off of it. (They usually set up a finance agreement with a bank.)

Blue .45
April 14, 2009, 08:54 PM
I have often purchased firearms with a Visa or Amex ... but I always pay them down to zero each month, so ...

This is typically how I do it. Since, I don't always plan my trips to the store, but
sometimes, just drop in if I'm in the area.

Besides, It's not good idea to carry large sums of cash where I live.

Travis Bickle
April 14, 2009, 09:20 PM
I always pay cash for everything. Neither a borrower nor a lender be.

Big Daddy Grim
April 14, 2009, 09:31 PM
Have a buget that I always follow

cracked junior
April 14, 2009, 09:52 PM
Cash first then credit. depending on who the merchant is. If I do use my card I already have the money saved up for it.

But I have been having evil thoughts, as in buying guns with the credit card since I cant save for several guns at once. Its save for one gun, buy it then save for another gun. And a few of them I want to get before I cant get them or the price keeps going up.

April 14, 2009, 10:14 PM
cash. The less time, paperwork, and fee's involved, the better.

90% of my transactions are ftf. I can go without having a BRAND NEW gun.

April 14, 2009, 10:52 PM
But Karen, remember that the bulk of the profit of the entire industry hinges on people carrying a balance and paying interest on it.

In February, there was $2564 billion in outstanding consumer credit. That figure does not include mortgage debt. Of that, less than half ($955.7 bn) was for "revolving credit" - that's where most credit card debt is included (it does not include american express or any other must-pay-balance credit cards). That leaves $1608.2 bn in loans to be earning interest off.

Yes, credit card interest payments give banks a warm and fuzzy feeling. Yes, banks prefer that all their credit card holders pay lots of interest. If everyone suddenly started paying off their credit cards each month, banks would probably just get out of the credit card business.

source for the above figures:

Hungry Seagull
April 14, 2009, 11:08 PM
I think the Credit Industry is going to fail. Housing did. Credit will. I suspect also the Commerical credit and Churches are running into defaults as well.

From the looks and the experiences we have had buying guns, then ammuntion and then accesories to clean, maintain and shoot properly and what seems like having to compete with a entire USA over the internet and elbow room in the big shops downtown... there is money being spent. Mostly CASH.

And a hell of alot of it and much more than I thought possible. There are some serious spending going on and I thought we were big ones too. Nay, small fish I tell ya. Small fish ya hear? Three piddiling guns and a stunner... some folks stack the stuff in a chest and out the door for tens of thousands of cash.

Windbag can sprout soothing words of National Salvation through Debts and Spending against our Children's income.... but it aint gonna hold any kind of meaning. It's all a gas and boy does it stink.

How stupid does they think we are.

April 14, 2009, 11:58 PM
I typically pay cash but my gun dealer lets me do layaway and when I see a great deal if I have the cash I do it or I'll put it on the card, I try to keep the card balance under 2k.

April 15, 2009, 12:27 AM
I use my credit cards for most purchases, pay them off, and accumulate the rewards. Every time I've bought a car in the last 12 years, I have up to $1K in free money from my credit card company. I just bought a 42" HD television for $600 and my AmEx Costco rebate. But for guns, I pay cash. That way there's no paper trail, and when my wife asks if that's a new gun, I just say I've had it for a while.:)

April 15, 2009, 10:46 PM
I don't support the use of credit cards. Paying to use someone else's money to get something you want (rather than need) is foolish. Credit cards are predatory, and when they find a borrower who lacks financial wisdom, it's really a nasty combination. A financial education class should be required to get credit, kind of like a driver's license is required to drive.

RT55- you should not lie to your wife, that's messed up.

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